Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Should I pitch more yeast in my mead???
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-15-2012, 01:54 AM   #1
homebrewbeliever
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewbeliever's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 309
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default Should I pitch more yeast in my mead???

Hello all! I've brewed 2 batches of mead so far without any problem. After a bit of time, they cleared and were delicious! I got too cocky and decided that I would go for the gusto: I was going to make a high-gravity mead with some delicious and expensive honeys. So, I used a bit over 4 lbs of honey per gallon and ended up with an OG of 1.135. I pitched my yeast, had a very healthy fermentation, and after about 2 months I racked it into secondary and the gravity was down to 1.040. Since then, 7 months have passed (making this mead about 9 months old) and I've racked it twice but the gravity is not going down. Furthermore, although it cleared a bit, it is still pretty hazy. Although I like sweeter meads, this mead is pretty damn sweet. How do I know if I should pitch more yeast? Would it even be a good idea? I'd like to do something because it was an expensive project that I wouldn't like to have be a failure. Any help that y'all can provide would be MOST appreciated...


__________________
For eclectic escapades in home-brewed deliciousness:
http://homebrewbeliever.blogspot.com
homebrewbeliever is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
NineMilBill
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 751
Liked 56 Times on 53 Posts
Likes Given: 63

Default

Have you followed hightest's Staggered Nutrient Addition schedule? What yeast did you use? Did you make a starter?


NineMilBill is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:24 AM   #3
MasterJeem
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posts: 154
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I have done 2 meads with this exact gravity successfully without periodic aeration, yeast energizer, starters, or ever getting it stuck by using lalvin ec-1118. That stuff eats through a high gravity in less than 2 weeks.
MasterJeem is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
roadymi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
Posts: 814
Liked 33 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

1.135 - 1.04 = 12.58 %

I like it sweet also, like around 1.02 which is 14.98%

Most of the popular yeasts should have gotten you there with proper nutrition.

I would try adding some nutrient and give it a good shake.(watch for geyser) What temp is it at? Might try warming it up a bit.

You could pitch a higher tolerance yeast but that could take it dryer than you wanted.

I am working at my 1st attempt at trying to get my mead to finish at the yeast tolerance and end up at my desired FG. I've backsweetened my previous batches.
__________________
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol.
Give a man a beer, he'll drink for the day.Teach a man to brew, he'll be drunk the rest of his life.
I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied
roadymi is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
roadymi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
Posts: 814
Liked 33 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterJeem View Post
I have done 2 meads with this exact gravity successfully without periodic aeration, yeast energizer, starters, or ever getting it stuck by using lalvin ec-1118. That stuff eats through a high gravity in less than 2 weeks.
1118 is a beast, but the OP was trying to retain some residual aweetness.
__________________
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol.
Give a man a beer, he'll drink for the day.Teach a man to brew, he'll be drunk the rest of his life.
I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied
roadymi is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 03:24 AM   #6
MasterJeem
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posts: 154
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Yeah, once I kill it, if I want it to be sweet, I back sweeten. I understand that he may not be going for this, but... If I ever had a stuck fermentation and used a different yeast, in goes the 1118
MasterJeem is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 04:31 AM   #7
honey11badger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 15
Default

When you add the 1118, try adding a few raisins in the batch to add some nutrients, just make sure they don't have any preservatives in them!
honey11badger is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
homebrewbeliever
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewbeliever's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 309
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadymi View Post
1.135 - 1.04 = 12.58 %

I like it sweet also, like around 1.02 which is 14.98%

Most of the popular yeasts should have gotten you there with proper nutrition.

I would try adding some nutrient and give it a good shake.(watch for geyser) What temp is it at? Might try warming it up a bit.

You could pitch a higher tolerance yeast but that could take it dryer than you wanted.

I am working at my 1st attempt at trying to get my mead to finish at the yeast tolerance and end up at my desired FG. I've backsweetened my previous batches.
Hmmm, do you think there are yeasts still alive for the nutrients to help? Its about 9 months old... If I add more nutrient, should I add more yeast as well? Also, if I add more yeast, do I have to do the whole aeration process again? I've never done it before and I would be worried about oxidizing the must.
__________________
For eclectic escapades in home-brewed deliciousness:
http://homebrewbeliever.blogspot.com
homebrewbeliever is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
TheBrewingMedic
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
TheBrewingMedic's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Stanfordville, NY
Posts: 650
Liked 27 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewbeliever View Post
So, I used a bit over 4 lbs of honey per gallon and ended up with an OG of 1.135. I pitched my yeast, had a very healthy fermentation, and after about 2 months I racked it into secondary and the gravity was down to 1.040....
Racking it before you were near the final gravity that you were looking for is where your ferment slowed down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewbeliever View Post
Since then, 7 months have passed (making this mead about 9 months old) and I've racked it twice but the gravity is not going down....
The more times you rack the less chance any further fermentation will occur as you are slowly seperating mead from any yeast that may still be kicking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewbeliever View Post
Furthermore, although it cleared a bit, it is still pretty hazy. Although I like sweeter meads, this mead is pretty damn sweet. How do I know if I should pitch more yeast? Would it even be a good idea? I'd like to do something because it was an expensive project that I wouldn't like to have be a failure. Any help that y'all can provide would be MOST appreciated...
Definitely does not have to go into the fail column, you have a few options.

1) you can dilute, you've made other batches of mead, what type were they and were they dry or at least dryer? if they were a traditional or at least complimentary flavors and dryer than this batch you can blend them, cutting the sweetness of this one....there is the water or wine dilution method but one dilutes flavors and abv the other ehhh, not a fan of the idea.

2) you can give it some nutrients and pitch some yeast, but your options are kind of limited for yeast strains because of the alcohol level you already have so something like 1118 is what you will need to use just remember that you are only sitting on a gravity of 1.04, so if the yeast gets started it will burn through every bit of sugar you have left and take it super dry. Not ruining your batch, just adding steps later of backsweetening to bring sweetness back if that is your desired finish. kind of like chasing your goal back and forth.

3) Even with a mead that alone is sweeter than you like there is the option of not trying to get rid of the sweet but balancing it out so it's not cloying. Look into acid blends and tannins or aging on oak chips, the first two you can add in small amounts until the balance reaches a point where it is pleasant to you and not overpowering and leaving you chasing it back again. Mead doesn't have to be fermented dry to not be annoyingly sweet.

4) Well I'm sure I overlooked something another poster will thow out there as an idea for you. Just take a moment and contemplate each suggestion before leaping at any, not so much what will immediately occur in your carboy, but what will happen next, kind of like playing chess, think a couple steps ahead and see what options will get you to the end product you desire with the least number of moves.

For the haze still in it, there are the options of time (not always 100% effective) fining agents (i've read K&C works well) after you get it to where you are happy with the flavor you could try cold crashing it, see if anything more falls out.

All is definitely not lost, it sounds like you have a delicious project going, just have to decide on what types of small tweaks to make (yes at this stage a bunch of small adjustments will be more advantageous than a huge leap somewhere) and you'll be enjoying an awesome glass of mead in the future.
TheBrewingMedic is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
homebrewbeliever
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewbeliever's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 309
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Thanks brewmedic! I like some of your suggestions; thank you for being so thorough. As of right now, I have no idea what I want. I am thinking that it might be best to just go for the gusto and add the 1118 yeast, kill off all of the sugar, and then backsweeten it a bit. However, I have never repitched yeast before. Do I "recondition" the mead all over again? Should I aerate it and add more yeast nutrients and tannins? I'd love some advice on this one...


__________________
For eclectic escapades in home-brewed deliciousness:
http://homebrewbeliever.blogspot.com
homebrewbeliever is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools



Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS